I’ve been recently reading through Genesis. The Creation stories are wonderful to revisit. Perhaps it’s because in springtime, we notice the earth and sky and water teeming with life once again, and for maybe just a moment, we can see what God sees when He created this place. What I love most about those stories is that God creates an entire day for rest. And as the world multiples, and covenants are established, and uh, floods and fire destroy towns, there is still the day of rest.
Slowing down is not a one-time deal. If you’re at all like me, and love self-help nonsense, you read constantly about the power of “unplugging”. As if you pull the plug once, and *poof*, life is better.
But we need to be consistently, regularly finding time and space for rest. And while there is value in taking a day, a full Sabbath, sometimes it’s not always possible. Our culture doesn’t really support that. That’s where I find mindfulness useful. In the middle of a busy day, I can tune into the sensations of my present moment and rest.
Here are some things I’ve been doing to make more Sabbath moments in my life.
- Eating breakfast at the table, sans news or podcasts. Taking at least 20 minutes to ease into the day, even when all I want to do is connect to the “Worldwide Bloodstream” as they say on Broad City.
- Getting farm share veggies, every week. I drive a little (ok, kind of a lot) out of our way to pick the best bok choy, select radishes with fake enthusiasm, and pretend I know which herbs are which. But I’m eating more greens, I smell air and dirt regularly, and it forces my brain to be present to, you know, the actual earth.
- Watching more movies! “More screen time?” you may say, skeptical that this is remotely mindful. But movies demand our time and attention: close the curtains, pop some corn, and put the phones down. For a few hours, my mind is calm and engaged on a single story: what a rarity! We’ve already completed a week of “men” movies (12 Angry, All the President’s, A Few Good), as well as Tom Cruise week. Side note: Did you know that Risky Business is just serious Ferris Bueller?
- Phone calls. They are making a comeback, I swear. I recommend quick 15 minute phone calls while you walk or sit on the stoop in the nice summer weather. Simultaneously gets you outside of your own head and back into your own life.
I am bad at these things. I spent the last two nights sleeping poorly because, guys, have you ever used YouTube? They have videos on everything. Not to mention I have every song ever on my phone. But it’s a work in progress. And on that note, I’ve gotta get away from the dang computer screen and go find a Sabbath moment.